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General Chat Thread, BSF - or outsourcing by another name in General; On the issue of name, flip it round to the question what else would work? I think the name covers ...
  1. #46

    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    On the issue of name, flip it round to the question what else would work? I think the name covers a multitude of sins, where anything else may limit who may come along. EduTechs, may make NM's think it was just for Technicians, EduNetworks may make the web designers and programmers think twice about coming over etc etc. I suppose it entirely depends on the personal view of the word Geek, I have never had a problem being called it & if anyone tries to use it derogatorily towards me I thank them with a smile Confuses the hell out of them.

    Back on topic I think, as someone else mentioned, that it woudl get to unweildy and down the line it would be broken down or schools would be forced to go their own way. When I think back to the world of pain that was the whole Broadband take up, imagine the chaos for an OS upgrade, or any other system change. Plus a one size fits all would not work across all the schools in the areas as many are diverse.

    From a personal point of view over being a roving tech for the LEA if I was assimilated to County, having a change to visit other schools may be nice but you would be like the contract engineers you get turning up from time to time. Trying to cadge up on notes about the system, what is wrong and case history rather than able to recall it all from memory as I bet most of manage at the moment. You definitley wouldn't get the raport with staff so get how they work and interact with the systems, not having the interaction with the kids would be a loss and I think staff usage of IT would suffer as they see it as a huge benefit to have someone they know to ask the silly (in their eyes) questions.

  2. #47

    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    Had interesting talk with my union women yesterday (please contact yours to discuss your local situation)

    I understand it under various rules and regs no one can be made redundent from bsf yes said company could take your contract on and then make you redundent little bit later...

    But not matter what happens your length of service with local authority transfer, as well as your pay etc in fact the company taking your contract on can not pay less then what same person doing same job at company already gets.

    so so a company took your contract on at said company they already have somone else doing same role who is on 5k more than you then they have to raise your wage inlines with them...

    Also pension gets taken on by said company and must be same pension as lea pension scheme....

  3. #48

    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    Quote Originally Posted by russdev
    Had interesting talk with my union women yesterday (please contact yours to discuss your local situation)

    I understand it under various rules and regs no one can be made redundent from bsf yes said company could take your contract on and then make you redundent little bit later...

    But not matter what happens your length of service with local authority transfer, as well as your pay etc in fact the company taking your contract on can not pay less then what same person doing same job at company already gets.

    so so a company took your contract on at said company they already have somone else doing same role who is on 5k more than you then they have to raise your wage inlines with them...

    Also pension gets taken on by said company and must be same pension as lea pension scheme....
    Yeah - theres a thing at the moment where Capita made a load of people redundant straight after the TUPE. TUPE does not cover pensions (spot the person who's been through all this before) - which may not mean much to you striplings - but its a bit of a blow to us greybeards. Also - you are only taken across to a position that is "equivalent" to your current one - it could be anywhere working on any system - which again is more of a concern to those of us with kids/working partners an' all. Its not at all uncommon for TUPE'd staff who are not regarded as prime to be "redeployed" to an office in the back end of nowhere that acts as a swift deterrent to staying on.

  4. #49

    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    your pension will get taken across this time as its lea based pension as such is protected...

    as my understanding....

    but this is where people need to start talking at local level found out who in your unions deals with education talk to them for example mine as said if anything comes in to do with bsf and any meetings she is going to invite me in (in some ways quite good as she is an ex-network manager before going to work for union)

    russ

  5. #50

    broc's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    Also bear in mind that the pensions on offer when an employee has been 'TUPE'd does NOT have to offer exactly the same benefits, and in any case these can be eroded/cancelled at the whim of the employer - just like the Local Government Pension Scheme which is under threat as we speak.

    I also agree with SpuffMonkey, the terms and conditions of employment for TUPE are pretty much worthless to the employee as soon as you have been 'assimilated'. UK employment laws still make it remarkably easy to get rid of 'surplus' employees. If you look at the meagre costs associated with running ICT in schools (as evidenced by the budgets most people on this forum work with!), the only way an outsourcing company can make a profit from outsourcing ICT in a secondary school is to achieve economies of scale in equipment provision (marginal?), charge schools more, or reduce cost..... labour being a major part of that.

    I also know of people who were outsourced, moved into dead-end roles, threatened with disciplinary action for complaining & even one who was eventually sacked for being a union activist. At an industrial tribunal he won a 6 figure sum.

    As a matter of interest, has anyone seen a financial case for outsourcing school ICT? I have seen several statements which say it is a 'good' thing, but no indepth analysis of why, or any cost benefit analysis.

  6. #51

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    As a matter of interest, has anyone seen a financial case for outsourcing school ICT? I have seen several statements which say it is a 'good' thing, but no indepth analysis of why, or any cost benefit analysis.
    I'm fairly sure this is something BECTA has looked at. However I can't seem to find anything on their site.

  7. #52

    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    Quote Originally Posted by broc
    Also bear in mind that the pensions on offer when an employee has been 'TUPE'd does NOT have to offer exactly the same benefits, and in any case these can be eroded/cancelled at the whim of the employer - just like the Local Government Pension Scheme which is under threat as we speak.
    my understanding is they do have to offer same pension scheme as your on as you not part of a merger but in effect they company is buying out your contract.

    and again if they company then change pension scheme they have to consult unions like lge do now...

    as it is lea pension scheme there are slightly different rules..

    and in fact it could quite easily be that lea will keep control of pension scheme...

    but as said contact your union and talk to them and report back in...

    Russ

  8. #53

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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    Based upon my experience representing an organisation which outsourced part of its operation to a private company, the new employer does not have to offer exactly the same pension benefits. They may offer a package which is broadly the same in actuarial terms but it need not be exactly the same. They could vary +/- lump sum benefits, spouses pension, retirement age, deductions for early retirement, whatever they like. As long as the actuarial 'value' of the scheme is broadly the same at the time of transfer this will get a tick in the box. Afterwards they can do anything. Unfortunately not all employers (particularly multinationals) recognise union representation so you may not be able to rely upon the unions to protect your pension.

    Of course, you could find yourself 'outsourced' from your school to your LEA, in which case your pension will remain the same!

  9. #54
    alan-d's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    The real danger is for NMs in that an outsourced school would be happy to pay for a technician to be on site all day everyday but why pay twice for technical advice, procurement advice and all the other higher level services provided by having a Network manager on site?

    As for the site name - who cares what other people think? As long as those that need to know and want to know what the site is all about then where is the problem?

    Those that giggle at the name 'Geek' are obviously too small minded to be worthy of our company

  10. #55
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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    NMs usually (Not in all cases) have a broader knowledge of networking and technical roles so you are also paying more for that knowledge if a school knows it will get that from its LEA then I'd have to agree why would the school bother with anything more than a basic Techie?

    Being a NM myself and having worked through from Trainee Tech I don't really want to be cast aside just because the government has come up with another scheme which they think will help schools, but what really can I do about it?

    One option is of course to jump ship before this happens in so doing I think I'd have a look at completing several courses I.E. CCNA, CNE, MSP, MCP, MCSE, Prince 2 and ITIL giving you a good chance of getting a job in Project and Infrastructure management (and a much better wage )Another is we could always start an Edugeek Consultancy Firm (We do have a national base after all) and we become the outsource company? I've been looking into this for a few years now, running your own business isn't hard (I've done it myself before now, and if I can do it then anyone else can! lol). I am also trying to convince our head about the benefits of supporting other local schools. Having read about the next policy Mr Blair wants to bring in giving greater freedom and independancy to schools doesn't this conflict with the idea of centralising support within an outsource company or an LEA? Centralising servers means most of the schools are going to suffer from a slow response time when wanting new (Network) software to be installed or when requesting a new service (say multimedia streaming or video conferencing) with the time it takes LEAs (I've had contact with) to sort out opening ports for instance, means most schools will be taking several steps back in their technical support history? Okay I'll admit its not the LEAs fault in a lot of cases they just don't have enough people to support that many schools (funding issues again I think!)
    But the government needs to look at this in reality not some dreamland invented by government officals that haven't worked in schools.

    Sorry about the rant there just don't like the idea of losing my job to someones dream of the future!



    Wes

  11. #56
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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    As for the term Geek I'll agree with Alan-D who cares what anyone else thinks the site is good and I've never had a problem finding out how to do something using everyones expertise at the site, its results that count not the name after all!

    Wes

  12. #57

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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    Quote Originally Posted by broc
    Based upon my experience representing an organisation which outsourced part of its operation to a private company, the new employer does not have to offer exactly the same pension benefits. They may offer a package which is broadly the same in actuarial terms but it need not be exactly the same. They could vary +/- lump sum benefits, spouses pension, retirement age, deductions for early retirement, whatever they like. As long as the actuarial 'value' of the scheme is broadly the same at the time of transfer this will get a tick in the box. Afterwards they can do anything. Unfortunately not all employers (particularly multinationals) recognise union representation so you may not be able to rely upon the unions to protect your pension.
    agian i understand it they have recongnise your union...

    this not outsourcing as such...

    also different rules when it is lea based contract that is being looked at...

    reason our lea union rep knows about this is because at moment in our lea on the adventure camp places is going to be run by an youth org and so they are going through all this..


    so to summarise my rep is saying the following: -

    - that pension is pritected as is oay
    - they have to aknowledege your union status..
    - they cant fire as part of bf transfer
    - length of service transfer


    for those that diagree with me it would be interesting if you can contact your nuon rep and discuss it with them and report back what they said...

    as this need to be addressed if unions are saying different things

    russ

  13. #58

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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    TUPE means that your employment continues on the same terms and conditions as before the transfer (pension excepted). However the employer is entitled to make changes for "economic, technical or organisational" (ETO) reasons. Also, I think you will find that the level of pension protection offered by TUPE is a smoke screen and is no more than you would get if you leave one employer and start working for another.

    To quote a Unison document .....

    "Future pension rights after the date of transfer are excluded from the TUPE Regulations but accrued pension rights up to the time of transfer are protected. "

    and

    "The Cabinet Office guidance on pensions when employees are transferred out of the public sector states that the new employer should provide a broadly comparable pension scheme with a bulk transfer option".

    Broadly comparable is not the same as equal.

    You have no employment protection if you have worked for your employer for less than a year, and to quote Unison again ....

    TUPE protection does not "run out" after a certain length of time. But in practice the TUPE Regulations cannot indefinitely protect employees who transfer to a new employer. For example, although it is automatically unfair to dismiss an employee with one year’s service for any reason connected with the transfer, it can be difficult to show a connection between the dismissal and the transfer. This is particularly true the longer the period of time has elapsed since the transfer took place.

    The new employer will often bring in new workers on inferior terms and conditions of employment to those who have transferred – operating a "two-tier workforce". Those employees who have transferred on enhanced terms are therefore likely to seem less attractive to retain in the long term. Employers may either seek to get rid of transferred employees or "equalise" (worsen) their terms with those of the new starters. Although terms and conditions on transfer are protected, employees may be put under pressure to agree to changes or offered a new employment package, the effect of which is to end the TUPE protection.

    To be fair, there is a Government consultation exercise looking at TUPE which may improve safeguards, but this is the same Government that has decided that Civil Servants pensions are more important than local Government pensions so who knows what will happen.

    Try Googling TUPE, look at uk.legal

    Brian

  14. #59

    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    yer but thats the key if you accept new contract....

    but then under bsf i belive pensions are included as an extra to tupe....

    but then not sure broc how about contacting you local union rep and speaking to them as if two different unison reps are giving two different views then it need to be clarified...

    russ

  15. #60

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    Re: BSF - or outsourcing by another name

    Take a look at

    http://www.dti.gov.uk/er/individual/...de2006regs.pdf

    Worry about ETO......

    Brian

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